Friday, May 7, 2010

And then that drag queen threw a shoe at me

As a gay man, there are a number of things that I'm supposed to love and somehow just don't. I'm not good at interior decorating, my knowledge of show tunes is only passable at best, I'm not a good dancer, I don't like "Sex and the City" or Barbra Streisand, and I have an irrational fear of drag queens. You know how some people are terrified of clowns, but can't really explain why other than to tell you that they're just creepy and wrong even though they fully recognize that there's actually nothing wrong with those people and that their performance requires a lot of practice and effort? That's how I feel about drag queens: baseless, irrational fear, except that now, after Monday night, I've learned that I have reason to fear drag queens.

They throw their shoes at you.

On Monday I went to the Lambda Student Union's "Flames of Knoxville" drag show, to be supportive of some of my students. I know a bunch of the Lambda members, but also had been invited by a former student and current staff member, who was doing drag for the first time and very excited about it. As this was the first drag show I have ever attended sober, I was dubious but supportive, and agreed with another friend that we should sit in the front.

Things started out ok. The emcee performed an opening number followed by an evening of bad jokes that fell mostly flat, and then we saw some really bad hairography when the girl on the left lost her wig halfway through her number:

bad hairography

Also, I've been waiting months to use the word "hairography" in a sentence.

There were some funny acts, and a couple of drag kings:

drag king

and then the first warning sign of danger. This girl:

rolling around

did a cartwheel off the stage that almost hit Will and I right in the faces. He leaned left, I leaned right, and the feet flew by somewhere in between. Maybe the front row was a bad idea, but there was no time to move before our friend came on.

We weren't sure what name he was going to use, since his facebook poll had been non-definitive, but there he was, singing Christina Aguilera as Candy Galore:

candy galore (1)

Candy Galore (2)

He was great.

The drag queen after him, though, left us with questions:


Joan Jett? Juliette Lewis in "Whip It"? That chick from "Twilight"? We never got an answer, because then this happened:

dangerous (1)

That's about five seconds before the shoe came flying at me, when she decided to start stripping:

dangerous (2)

and then flung her wig, clothes, and shoes into the audience as hard as she could.

the shoe that flew at me

That shoe rebounded a good six feet after hitting the chair to land there on the carpet. Also, after the stripping, there were pushups:

dangerous (3)

Honey, I'm not an expert on drag or anything, but you're doing it wrong. You should ask this girl for some pointers:


She can dance, strip, and take tips with her mouth while crawling across a stage, and no one was injured. If not her, then tragic shoe-throwing drag queen could also take tips from cartwheel girl, who took the stage a second time:

the girl who rolled around

or from Lady GaGa:

"Poker Face" (1)

"Poker Face" (3)

who carefully removed some of the stickers comprising her outfit during the performance:

"Poker Face" (2)

Hell, he could even take pointers from Candy Galore, who not only came back for a second set:

Candy Galore (3)

but closed out the show with a duet:

drag show finale

On the other hand, tragic shoe-throwing drag queen should refrain from taking advice from this girl:

"Rain on my Parade"

because that dress is fugly. Seriously fugly. That's like three different dresses on top of each other, and none of them go together.

And even if you listen to none of the other drag queens, tragic shoe-thrower, you should listen to me. Next time you decide that you should perform your second set in a bikini top and a wrap, at least put in enough effort to shave your stomach and chest:

dangerous (4)

You look like one of the "Real Housewives of New Jersey".

And also, please stop throwing your shoes at people.


strong cookie. said...

I happen to love drag queens, but this show seems scary.

Lauren said...

It is good to know that the show is still going strong-even if it is scary at times! Back in 2004/05 University Housing (aka me, divers. committee) sponsored Lambda's posters for the event!

Thanks for all the pics-good memories.

JMBower said...

I say, a drag queen throws a shoe at you, you throw it right back at the drag queen.

(And yes, I deliberately am playing the pronoun game as I am deathly afraid of using the wrong gender, even though I know the offense would be forgiven. Is "her/she" the proper pronoun for someone in drag? What if it's, I mean it's technically possible it's a straight guy in drag, it still she? Or is it only she when "she" is on stage? So confused.)

Joel said...

Justin, my understanding (which is also not expert) has always been that the drag queen is a she when in costume. When out of costume, I've known them to use either pronoun.

kayo62556 said...

Last month, I went with a couple of my young friends to a drag ball at a local college. Now I have seen some very good drag shows, and the "professionals" were very good, although I was more distracted trying to figure out where they tucked everything out of sight so well that they could wear spandex.

Drag shows that feature non-professionals will often have people who would never be performing on stage otherwise. Looking good in drag, alas, does not guarantee an entertaining performance, because it doesn't necessarily mean the drag queen can sing or dance.

The worst part, I realized, was that the performers were using club versions of songs that went on even longer than the original song.

On a positive note, though, no shoes were being used as missiles.